Once upon a time, how such stories start. But what meaning does time have to a deity? Particularly Red-eyed Hades, he of the underworld, granted dominion over thw dead because of a bad draw of lots when his brothers, born of the titans Kronos and Rhea, split between them the sky, the sea, and the underworld.
But Hades, always unlucky, found a powerful soul in the world of men. A soul in the form of a young man, almost full grown. Desiring the soul for reasons not made privy to his confidantes, Hades approached the young man, who for the purpose of this telling we shall name Peleus, son of Laertes. Now Peleus was not nearly the perfection of such other heroes like swift-footed man-killer Achilles or near as clever as wily Odesseus...Nay, Peleus was a normal man, and thus destined to deal with a god.
And so it was that red-eyed Hades came to awkward Peleus under the Athenian sky bearing a gift. "Awkward Peleus, son of Laertes, I offer you this hourglass, forged by my nephew Hephaestus. If you turn it over at a time in your life when you are happiest, time will freeze, letting you live that moment for eternity."
And so Awkward Peleus, son of Laertes, took the hourglass and set it aside. In time, Peleus did meet coy Arachne, named so to appease her mother's debt to grey haired Athena. And the, like people of all ages of time, did fall in love, and marry in Hera's own temple. And Awkward Peleus did consider turning the hourglass over after the vows were exchanged. But, he decided to wait and see what would come in the future.
And as often happens to those who have received Jealous Hera's blessings, it did not take long for coy Arachne to grow gravid. Her belly swelled like the moon in the sky, and some months later, she did shoot forth young Phoebus, named to honor Apollo. As Awkward Peleus held his son in his arms for the first time, he again considered turning the hourglass. But again, he stayed his hand, thinking of the magic involved in watching young Phoebus grow into manhood.
Time passed on, as it often does, and we watch as coy Arachne shoots forth Agamemnon and Ajax and finally little Cassandra. And through it all, Awkward Peleus stays by Arachne's side, teaching his sons to be men, and trying to keep Fire haired Cassandra from becoming a woman. And the children grew, as children always do....and still, Awkward Peleus stayed his hand.
And as the children grew up and moved on to their own lives, Peleus and Arachne with more grey in their hair and skin loosening up like the fat on a sacrificial bull did enjoy each other still. But then, Atropos, she who cuts the thread, did miscut the thread of life, and Arachne died in Peleus's arms. And Peleus stayed his hand, first not wanting his wife to suffer the pain for eternity, and later not wanting to suffer his pain for his wife's loss for eternity.
And now we look on Aged Peleus, As Red-eyed immortal Hades rides his black chariot to the dwelling of Peleus. "Mortal, I have bested you. You're time has come and you are mine." And so, dying Peleus did get onto Hades's black chariot and begin the ride to Dark Tartarus...and as they crossed the sky, Peleus looked back on his ordinary life, and realized that this, here at the end, when he had lived his life to the fullest...this was the happiest day of his life. And thus did he turn the hourglass, defeating Unlucky Hades.